site.btaUtility Fits Western Bulgaria Power Grid with Birdlife Protection Devices
ERM Zapad EAD is installing facilities to protect bird life on the power grid in Western Bulgaria before the autumn migration, Electrolhold power company said Tuesday.
In August, 110 power poles were secured on the Kamenets power line, which supplies the municipalities of Levski and Pordim, Pleven Region, as well as risky poles on the 110 KV power line in the area of Yana village, Sofia Region. Part of the activities fall within the framework of the two projects that ERM Zapad is implementing under the LIFE programme of the European Union in partnership with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). Others are complementary to the projects and are being implemented on the initiative of the company based on an analysis of the frequency and causes of power outages.
Some of the installed products allow birds to safely use the ERM poles for resting, while others aim to prevent birds from landing in dangerous places. Special marking devices - diverters - are also installed to direct the birds' attention to the location of overhead power lines.
ERM Zapad is implementing two projects under the LIFE programme, within the framework of which it has a commitment to secure a total of 6,600 electric poles, to install 4,900 marking devices (diverters) and to install 900 stork nest platforms. However, analyses by ERM Zapad show that other facilities not included in the LIFE projects also pose a danger to birds.
The natural increase in the population of some bird species has forced the company to start installing facilities on new sections on an emergency basis to reduce the danger to birds and the number of power outages.
A BSBP report in 2022 found that only two birds were victims of collisions with overhead power lines following the installation of LIFE safety structures in separate regions of the territory serviced by ERM Zapad. The study was carried out in the specially protected areas of Vrachanski Balkan, Nikopolsko Plateau, Devetashko Plateau, Western Balkan, Palakaria, Mesta, Kresna and Svishtov-Belene Lowland, where 162 km of wires were secured.